September 14, 2017 / 11:35 AM / 9 months ago

Sri Lankan rupee slips as banks, importers buy dollar

COLOMBO, Sept 14 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee ended marginally lower on Thursday as dollar demand from banks and importers surpassed selling of the greenback by exporters, dealers said.

The spot rupee, which was traded at 153.15/25 per dollar during the day, ended at 152.95/153.05 per dollar, compared with Wednesday’s close of 152.90/153.00.

“The demand (for dollar) was there from foreign banks for an equity payment,” said a currency dealer, requesting anonymity.

“We saw some exporters converting when the spot traded below 153.00 which eased the pressure on the currency.”

Dealers said the rupee will be under pressure with some equity-related transactions.

After market hours on Wednesday, diversified conglomerate Hayleys Plc said it will purchase 61.73 percent of Singer Sri Lanka Plc for 10.9 billion rupees ($71.27 million).

The rupee has been under pressure since January after the central bank stopped defending the currency and started buying dollars to build up the country’s depleted foreign currency reserves.

The island nation saw 27.7 billion rupees ($181.22 million) of net inflows into equities up to Thursday’s close, and 6.6 billion rupees worth inflows into government securities as of Sept. 6, official data showed. ($1 = 152.8500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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